Consumers Stop Using Apps Due to Data Concerns. In-App Messaging Can Help.

Over 60% of apps are deleted within the first month. Shoring up your app’s security with chat helps mitigate app abandonment and increase engagement.

We live in an age where data security, safety, and privacy are of significant importance — and for a good reason. Millions reported identity theft in 2019. Consumer data is regularly stolen from reputable, well-known companies. Estimates suggest hackers attempt to steal user data every 39 seconds.

It’s no wonder why concerns about data privacy are at an all-time high: Pew Research found that 80% of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about how companies collect their data and feel they have little or no control over how their data is used.

Safety and security fears are one reason why 73% of apps are abandoned after three months. Lengthy and complicated data-collection permissions often spook users, causing a drop in usage.

In-App Chat Improves Data Security & Safety

When implemented with security and safety in mind, in-app messaging improves user engagement because it can keep users in apps for more extended periods, rather than forcing them to exit the app to communicate insecurely. Additionally, chat obscures sensitive user data such as personal phone numbers and email.

Chat helps users feel more secure when using platforms that connect them with strangers.

For instance, when TaskRabbit, a company connecting consumers with local service providers such as movers and handymen, implemented Stream Chat, the secure, scalable real-time messaging API, into its app, clients and “Taskers” were able to better communicate within the app before, during, and after a task. This negated the need for the two parties to exchange their personal contact information, ensuring that no unwanted contact would be possible after the task wraps up.

With Stream, “Users will now be able to book appointments through forms directly available through chat, and we expect this new functionality to have a huge, positive impact on business,” said Sadeepa Wijesekara, VP of Engineering at TaskRabbit.

In the rideshare space, when Uber launched in 2009, drivers and passengers could only communicate by calling or texting each other. While innovative at the time, users would receive calls from random numbers. There was no indication text messages were delivered or seen, leaving some passengers stranded, or drivers aimlessly searching for their client.

In 2017, Uber added in-app messaging to its platform, streamlining the communication process. “Our in-app chat feature also means that regardless of where they are located ... riders and drivers won’t need to share their phone number when they need to get in touch,” said Jeremy Lermitte, Uber’s product manager. Bonus: In-app messaging anonymized the personal information of drivers and passengers, drastically reducing the “creepy” factor of entering a stranger’s car.

Uber’s in-app chat was especially a gamechanger for women passengers and drivers, who report more harassment than men both during and after rides.

Because users no longer have to exit an app to communicate, in-app messaging causes session length to increase. Plus, users feel their privacy is valued and protected.

Encrypted Chat

Apps with chats featuring end-to-end encryption also help improve engagement — particularly for apps handling sensitive information, such as health data. For example, HIPAA compliant means that private health information (PHI) is regulated and protected — and it is essential to telehealth apps that connect patients with doctors.

Encrypted chat is one more way to inspire user confidence in your app.

Keep the engagement going! Learn the top four ways in-app chat increases user engagement by downloading Stream’s free white paper.